Mural Congreso de Sants by Miquel Wert
In December from Rebobinart we produced a mural of historical memory in memory of the First Workers Congress of Sants.
The artist in charge of executing this mural tribute was Miquel Wert. The Congreso Obrero de Sants, was an important meeting of the Catalan labor movement that took place in the Ateneo Racionalista of the street Vallespir 14 of Sants in 1918. This congress generated a very favorable change in the organizational model of the workers’ movement and meant the strengthening of anarcho-syndicalism in Catalonia.
This project was developed with the Salvador Seguí Foundation (FSS), which aims to preserve and disseminate information about the workers’ movement, and to recover the historical memory of the libertarian movement. Miquel Wert met with the FSS who passed on their knowledge about the Consell Obrer, so that he could capture in detail the tasks they developed and the rights they achieved and that today we still preserve.
The mural work is located in Vallespir street, where more than a hundred years ago the Sants Congress was held. The work is executed on the walls of the current green point of the neighborhood. Using Wert’s characteristic chromatic range, the artist played with black and white to create a large-format work based on three images of the time, which form a visual tryptic.
On the right side we find an image dated 1918. It shows the female workers of Casa Santiveri. These women worked in the packing section, so part of the mural makes visible the important presence of women in the textile sector and in the economic gear of the time. Although they did not have a great presence in the Congress, it is essential to emphasize their importance within the family institution, in an incipient taking of professional roles, and in some particular sectors of the industry.
On the left side you can see the image of the mythical chimneys of the Canadenca factory, which refers to the important strike (of the same name) that encouraged one of the largest workers’ mobilizations in history, from which many improvements were achieved, such as the 8-hour workday.
Finally in the central part Wert captured one of the few images that are preserved of the Fundational Congress of CNT, dated back to 1910. It shows a multitude of workers gathered in assembly, among them Salvador Seguí (seated in the center) and Àngel Pestaña (seated on the left). In this Congress several decisions were taken that lead to a series of key changes in the society of the time, many of which we can still benefit from today.
Thanks to this artistic intervention, the relevant work developed by the council has been made visible and will be made known to those who were not aware of this essential organ of the workers’ struggle.
From Rebobinart, once again, we are committed to the murals of historical memory. This mural opened a window into the past, in the middle of a public space, and has helped to recover fragments of the history of the neighborhood and Catalonia. We want to thank the good work and professionalism of Miquel Wert and the collaboration of the district of Sants-Montjuïc.